C.B. Vaughan, 1959
C.B. Vaughan, Vermont Academy Class of 1959, blazed to the World Speed Skiing Record in 1963 by going 106.89 mph. In 1969 he designed and sold his first pair of ski “Super Pants” from his car.
In short order, the 29-year-old took a bit of cash and a barrel-full of grit and created CB Sports. By the 1990s, CB Sports was a $45M sports apparel company with 600 employees, 6 retail stores, and 850 dealers. C.B. credits his time at Vermont Academy as one that gave him discipline and accountability—traits that later helped him to meet all of life’s challenges and rewards. C.B.’s family moved to Manchester, VT, when he was six years old. His freshman year, he attended Burr and Burton Academy. As a teenager, C.B. was admittedly “pretty loose and easy going” and focused more on athletics than academics. By the end of his freshman year, he needed a change and his family began looking at neighboring schools. Ultimately, he was drawn to the “feeling” of Vermont Academy. At VA, C.B. was able to enjoy his independence, while benefiting from the guidance of faculty and administrators to find a balance between his studies and sports. Looking in the rearview mirror, he is profoundly grateful for the impact Mike Choukas, John Lucy, Beano Tripp, and Warren Chivers—to name a few—made on his life.
After Vermont Academy, C.B. attended St. Lawrence University, a decision he credits as one of the best in his life. After graduating from St. Lawrence, C.B. continued his pursuit of making the US Olympic Ski team. Not realizing this dream was a crushing disappointment, and one from which he realized he needed to move on. It also made him realize that he had to get a “real” job—fast! He quickly discovered he was not cut out for corporate America. Leveraging his knowledge of the ski industry, and with some modest startup money from his ski career, he started CB Sports in Bennington, VT. It quickly grew into one of America’s leading ski apparel and outerwear brands.
These days, C.B. looks for opportunities where he can make a difference. With his love of athletics, he supports sports’ programs wherever he can, including the Special Olympics and the America Youth Soccer Organization. In addition to being Vermont Academy’s 44th Florence Sabin Award Winner, C.B. Vaughan was inducted into both the Vermont Academy and St. Lawrence University Hall of Fames. In October of 2013, Mr. Vaughan was inducted into the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum Hall of Fame for his contributions to Vermont skiing, which helped put Manchester and Stratton regions on the snow sports map.